A prank?

Published: Thursday 31 March 2005

-- (Credit: Emkay)Nasa test I ndia

Last month, the national media went ga-ga over Saurabh Shukla. This 17-year old from Balia Uttar Pradesh (up) had topped the international scientist discovery examination conducted by the National Aeronautical and Space Agency (nasa) of the us -- or so he claimed. The media lapped up the story. The up chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav gave a speech in the state assembly congratulating Shukla. The boy was invited for an audience with President Abdul Kalam. But then the programme was shelved. Somebody had finally checked with nasa which denied any association with the international scientist discovery exam. And that opened a Pandora's box. The boy claimed that he had travelled with his teacher to London to take part in the exam. The teacher denied stepping outside the country's shores.

In the ensuing kafuffle, the media forgot to ask itself: why had it not checked with nasa before feting the kid?

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